Cebu News

Monks use theater to educate out-of-school youth


Some 15 out-of-school youth of barangay Punta Princesa are getting the benefits of the ongoing Embedded Life Skills Program in Theatre and Allied Arts initiated by the Pilgrim Brothers of St. Francis in Cebu.

The skills program, through the Institute of Dynamic Arts, aims to help OSY’s to be more productive with their time by imparting knowledge to them through theater and cultural arts for free- a twist to the usual way of teaching through lectures inside the classrooms.

The Pilgrim Brothers believe that inculcating values can be best achieved when people show ‘care’ translated into cultural care giving.

“When one tries to deal with beauty, one comes very close to God,” they said.

The recipients from Punta Princesa are mostly those at the high school level but could no longer continue schooling due to financial constraints. Since a month ago, they have undergone series of trainings and workshops to enhance their skills in theatre arts and widen their knowledge of their own culture.

This short-term course encourages participants to develop competence in melodrama, dance, voice, and group involvement. They also get to learn another language and develop their skills in practical arts like carpentry, production management or organizing theater events and costume making including jewelry making.

The program is funded by Ibabao Arts Council of Calbayog, the mother of Arts Council based in Samar and was established in 1988 and has been approved by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, the body that approves programs that promote Filipino national culture and arts.

Fray Paolo Maria Diosdado Casurao Y Granados, director of the congregation and founder of the Institute of Dramatic Arts, said the program is their way of arming the youth with certain skills so they can handle themselves in challenging situations.

Likewise, the program is also their way of helping address a problem in the educational system in the Philippines, particularly on the lack of practical applications in academic curriculums.

Diosdado believes that many high school graduates end up jobless because they were not taught with the basic skills that could use in the event they could not pursue a college education.

The program will soon be registered with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority, Diosdado said. — Jessica Ann Pareja/JMO

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